Saturday 14th I stayed home, was rather tired after my night out… but it was great to wake up with my make up on and, look into the mirror all day and see the real me! Sunday 15th I went out just after 1.00pm… and was out over 8 hours. My voice was a bit variable, partly because I was still tired I think… but NO negative reactions or stares at all. Went to my local outlet. Firstly returned a cardy to Marks and got another in a different colour, got my chocolate supply from Thorntons (had good light-hearted chat with the lady there), went into Claire’s for a couple of things (where none of the teenage girls noticed anything different about me), onto Peacocks where I bought a couple of pairs of shoes, and then Trespass to buy more walking gear; the check out girl there was nice. Drove onto another centre and went into Argos where I bought a new watch, and had lots of good chat with the checkout girl… and then Trudi came over, who has served me a couple of times before, and said Hi, with a nice wee bit of chat. The girl who actually served me had more facial hair than me! But so what, she was nice to me, I was nice to her, all was fine. Alas I will have to go back to the shop to get the watch adjusted to have some links taken out… which is a good thing, more practise!!! Also went into B&Q for a bulb, and had to ask an assistant as I had no idea what fitting to get. Then drove onto Belfast Castle (see photo), had a wander around the pretty gardens and took some pictures, then onto a TS friend for a chat and dinner.
Monday 16th – walking day! Had a dreary, Bob half-day at work… and then home for a late lunch, a wee nap… and then transformation again. Took rather longer than it should have done, partly because I put my hair into a wee pony tail to try and reduce wind-disruption; see attached photo for new, more pulled-back hair look. I drove to Belfast, and then up to Cavehill Country Park for my walk. Got there slightly early, so time for final hair adjustments. Then parked, and walked up to the group. The leader, another Andrea, welcomed me, and we had a bit of chat then she introduced a new girl Fi… who I ended up chatting to for AGES when we set off, she was really nice, we had lovely chat, there was one point when I nearly lost my footing and she gave me a supporting hand. As we progressed, I then ended up chatting to an elderly lady Margaret who I had met before (who is very pleasant) and then Lisa who I met on my first walk – I had this worry that people I have talked to before would see through me and not want to talk again… but NO, they were both lovely, had great chat with them, and cracked jokes with the – it is wonderful to hear people laugh at things that Andrea says. We got t the highest point of the country park for great views of Belfast and the coast, then started a return leg to the cars… and I started talking to two girls, Kerry and Paula, who I have only met once before BUT as my male former-self in a different group… but they didn’t seem to notice anything (possibly helped by me having my shades on), they were lovely, had good chat with them; I mentioned to Kerry the type of work and employer for my job who I previously mentioned to Paula (as ‘Bob’), as they are friends I wonder if they will chat and the penny will drop…? Anyway, I also chatted to my admirer, had good chat with him, then all-too-soon the walk was over. Had chat back at the car park then had to go. I had to stop at a petrol station soon after setting off, and got my first ‘dozy bitch’ stare… as I drove in the wrong way (exit), made a meal steering my car to the pump, and the guy with the stare was not at all impressed. But all okay, paid, guy was fine at check out, a guy apologised at the doorway as I almost bumped into him. And then home… SO pleased with the evening, I think I am finally convinced that I am successful in my walking group now that I have had people talk to me again…. ….and, within 12 hours, I have had six people say they enjoyed meeting me…. AND my “admirer” sent me a message starting “Ah, Andrea, lines of poetry come to mind”; I am wondering if he is flirting with me…?